Engaging Faith | Fri, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010 or Sunday, May 16, 2010
[depending on your diocese or country]
Ephesians 1:17-23 or Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23
May 13 or 16: Feast of the Ascension
May 15: International Day of Families http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/IDF.html
May 15: Police Officer Memorial Day in the U.S. http://www.aphf.org/memday.html
May 21: Diversity Day http://www.betterworldcalendar.com/diversityday.htm
May 23: Pentecost
The true apostle is first of all a person who is "tuned in,” a servant ready for God's action.
John Paul II Athens, May 5, 2001
The only way to peace is forgiveness. To accept and give forgiveness makes possible a new quality of rapport between people, interrupting the spiral of hatred and revenge and breaking the chains of evil which bind the heart of rivals. … To love the one who offends you disarms the adversary and is able to transform a battlefield into a place of supportive co-operation.
John Paul II, Message for Lent 2001
Intense prayer, yes, but it does not distract us from our commitment to history: by opening our heart to the love of God it also opens it to the love of our brothers and sisters, and makes us capable of shaping history according to God's plan. …. A spirituality of communion means, finally, to know how to "make room" for our brothers and sisters, bearing "each other's burdens" (Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy.
John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte
We have a lot of work to do. Every time we reach out and assuage someone's hunger, and do that in memory of Jesus, a sense of Eucharist will bring to consciousness the Spirit and the real presence of Jesus - in us, through us, among us. That Spirit alone is capable of transforming us and the world.
Miriam Therese Winter, MMS
Thoughts for your consideration
In the first reading the followers of Jesus look up to heaven.
The angels ask them “Why?”
It is as if they are saying:
“Why don’t you just look around and then maybe you will see the Christ?”
Look around and you will see the presence of Christ.
Look around and you will hear the call of God.
Look around and you will know the Power of the Spirit.
Look around and you will be empowered.
Look around and you will be filled with joy.
You will be involved in the struggle for justice and peace.
You will hear the voice of God among the poor and needy of the world.
You will hear God speak in the struggle for peace and justice.
You will see God in the goodness and faith of people
You will see God in those who struggle to do what is right and good.
You will be led into life and grace.
God dwells in the world.
In a sense the Ascension experience sends the followers of Jesus into the world to “find God in all things.” The spirituality of Christ is not a spirituality that looks to get out of the world and its challenges. The spirituality of Christ is a spirituality connected to the world around us – the world of people and nature – a world with rich and poor, men and women, young and old, nature and grace, conflict and reconciliation, war and peace, sin and virtue, etc.
The disciples are sent out not with a rigid ideology or a fully spelled out set of rules, but rather with a spirit – a spirit of openness – a spirit that proclaims “repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations.”
Even though our world today, on a certain level, is radically different than the world of 2000 years ago, Christ can still be found. Christ is still alive and present. The Ascension is the key that allows all this to happen. Jesus says: “It is better for you that I go, for if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7) Catholic Social Teaching affirms and supports our involvement with all the richness, diversity, and mystery of human life. We can “find God in all things.” We can make a difference in all the big issues of our day.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
How have you been surprised by the presence of God in daily life?
How have you experienced the presence of God in a difficult human situation?
What is God saying in recent big events in our world?
· In the “oil spill” in the Gulf of Mexico?
· In the attempted “car bombing” in New York City?
· In the financial crisis in Greece?
Actions - Links
The feast of the Ascension reminds us to “find God in all things” and not just stare up to heaven to find God in some other place. Along these lines you might find “Examen of Consciousness: Finding God in All Things, A popular Method of Prayer from St. Ignatius and his Followers” by Phyllis Zagano to be helpful. The article from the Catholic Update Series can be found at: http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0303.asp
Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform “is a coalition of Christian organizations, churches, and leaders from across the theological and political spectrum, united in support of comprehensive U.S. immigration reform. We are working together to see fair and humane immigration reform enacted in Congress this year because we share a set of common moral and theological principles that compel us to love, care for, and seek justice for the stranger among us.” Check out their web site at http://faithandimmigration.org and consider taking action at
Center for Immigration Studies estimates there to be about eleven million immigrants in the United States without legal papers. http://www.cis.org/
Although women make up more than 60% of the agricultural labor force, and produce 2/3 of the food crops, agricultural development programs in Nigeria have traditionally focused only on men.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Come Holy Spirit, guide us on the way to what is right.
For the grace to find God in the challenges and problems of life, we pray….
For immigrants and refugees who have come to our nation, we pray….
For the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, the Congo and other troubled lands, we pray….
For the people of our nation who are without productive work or adequate income, we pray….
For children who grow up in poverty, we pray….
For our planet under so much stress from global warming and oil spills and many other abuses, we pray….
For our political leaders, that they may seek the common good, we pray….
The following prayer for the Feast of the Ascension is from the “This is Church” website:
Christ, let me see You in others
Christ, let others see You in me
Christ, let me see.
You are the caller,
You are the poor,
You are the stranger
At the door.
You are the wanderer,
You are the homeless
With no bed.
You are the man
You are the child
Crying in pain.
You are the other
Who comes to me.
Open my eyes that
I may see.